By Joe Pantorno (Editor-in-Chief) Phi Epsilon, a local sorority that has been a part of the Hofstra community since December of 1937, was disbanded Wednesday and will no longer be recognized by the University.
"We're all very upset, this sorority has meant so much to us," said Michelle Giuseffi, a sorority member. "It's our family, it's my home away from home."
In recent years, the sorority has been given both criticism and praise. According to a 2010 article published in The Chronicle, the sorority was suspended from campus in 2008 for a reported hazing incident. The sorority eventually regained recognition in 2009.
"The sorority has been found responsible for hazing and other infractions including falsification and failure to comply," said Peter Libman, Dean of Students, of the recent disband. "This is not the first time this group has been found responsible for serious violations."
Hofstra provides a thorough definition of hazing in its New Member's Packet for Greek Life. Some actions or situations that fall under hazing include "forced or encouraged consumption of liquor, drugs, food or beverages," and "mistreatment by playing stunts or ridiculous tricks."
"Our job is to protect the health and welfare of our students," said Libman. "We fully support our Greek system and we know how vital they are to our campus. But we can't tolerate any activity that puts student's health in jeopardy or violates our policies.... This is an organization that has been involved with the University for a long period of time and it is unfortunate that it has come to this."
Despite hazing accusations, the sorority recently seemed to make a turn for the better. Phi Epsilon was awarded the Most Improved Sorority of the Year in 2010 and considered Sorority of the Year in 2012 by the Division of Student Affairs.
Originally known as the Seawana Society, the sorority was the only local Greek organization on campus next to Alpha Theta Beta. Their philanthropy included raising money for breast cancer, primarily through its annual spaghetti dinner fundraiser. In the past two years, Phi Epsilon raised $15,000 for breast cancer research.
"Hofstra is getting rid of something that does so much for them and they don't realize it yet," said Giuseffi. "We do a lot for this University and we're very invested in this community as a whole. We want to promote good willand friendship throughout the entire Greek community."
When it was revealed that the sorority was disbanded, members of other fraternities and sororities expressed their support for Phi Epsilon. According to CollegeBoard.com, roughly 20 percent of the student population is part of Greek life.
However, the news did not cause the same reaction for students unassociated with a sorority or fraternity.
"I think it's a little ridiculous to kick a sorority off campus. They should've given them a warning or something before they were kicked off," said freshman Ryan Nelson, "I think hazing is ridiculous, if the hazing was very severe though, then the punishment is justified."
Phi Epsilon did not confirm whether they plan on appealing the decision.
The print article published April 11, 2013 listed the other local sorority as Alpha Omega Beta. The correct name of the sorority is Alpha Theta Beta.